Choosing the Right Pictures

When selecting a photograph there are a few pointers to remember:

  • Quality – high quality mobile phone and digital camera photos are normally ok to use and I can often use Facebook images however the face will need to be large in the photograph as cropping and “zooming” will reduce the quality of the details making it impossible to draw accurately (see below).
  • Quantity – if you would like me to combine several photos into one drawing please send a wide variety of images so I can pick the best ones to fit together in the composition.
  • Expressions – when choosing photos of people, particularly children, please try to avoid big toothy grins as these can often look a bit strange or fake in drawings.
  • Eyes – the eyes are most often the most important part of any drawing, when choosing your photo ensure the eyes are unobscured, clear and not too dark.
  • Clarity – please avoid blurry, low resolution or watermarked image.

Merging Photos

To create the perfect image I often use 2 or 3 photos.  More often than not (particularly with kids!) not everyone has the best expression in a single photograph.  So, I take the best from a range of shots and merge them together in the drawing.  The more choice of photos I have the better the chances of getting a good “merge” as not every photo will fit together.   Photos should ideally be taken with the same lighting and from the same angle.  This image shows the three photos used to create a triple siblings portrait.

photo merge example

A Word on Quality….

The first image below was taken from Facebook (my cheeky son!) but is a typical example of the type of photo I have been asked to draw.  You might think it looks OK but the bit I would be drawing is shown in the second image and you can start to see how the detail is being lost.  If I zoom in further to give you an idea of how it will look when printed out and so I can see the eye ………. whoops!  There’s no way I can draw from that!

jack jackzoom jackzoom2